Russ Jennings is joined by theatrical director R. G. Davis in a program dedicated to the various composers that worked with Bertolt Brecht. Davis describes the evolution of Brecht’s political philosophy and how that was reflected in the composers he chose to work with. Particular attention is paid to the period of 1927 to 1933 which saw Brecht’s most successful collaborations with Kurt Weill give way to the more Marxist influenced agitprop theater he created with Hanns Eisler. Davis also plays excerpts from a number of early operas by Arnold Schoenberg that illustrate the early influences of both Eisler and Weill and set the stage for their transition of serious music from concert halls to musical theaters.
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